11 Days Uganda Gorilla Watching & Rwenzori Trekking .
Planning for Gorilla watching & Rwenzori trekking in Uganda ? Rwenzori Mountaineering destination company in handling all trekking bookings to rwenzori mountains has tailored the 11 days encompassing the gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park & Mgahinga National park which are the most known homes for the mountain gorillas in Africa.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park has enormous biodiversity with over 190 species of birds and several species of monkeys along side other primates that can be see on Uganda safari tour .
Bwindi national park is dense than mgahinga national park but the gorilla trekking experience is almost the same, trekking rwenzori mountains can be done either using the kilembe trail or Rwenzori central circuit since the route to margherita peak is the same even those who have decided to use congo Side for climbing Rwenzori Mountains.
Rwenzori Trekking & Gorilla watching include walking and trekking through the nature vegetation guided by the rangers of UWA.
Summary Trekking Rwenzori & Gorillas
- Day 1: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable forest park : 9-10 hours
- Day 2: Gorilla Trekking, Relaxation at the lodge
- Day 3: Transfer to Rwenzori Mountains National Park with en-route game drive in Queen Elizabeth
- Day4: Nyakalengija (1615m) – Nyabitaba Hut (2651m)
- Day5: Nyabitaba (2651m) – Mubuku River (2600m) John Matte Hut (3380m)
- Day 6: John Matte (3380m) to Bujuku (3962m)
- Day 7: Bujuku (3977m) to Elena Hut (4541m).
- Day 8: Elena Hut (4541m) to Margherita peak– Kitandara hut (4027m)
- Day9: Kitandara (4027m) – Fresh field Pass (4282m) – Guy Yeoman (3450m)
- Day10: Guy Yeoman (3450m) – Nyabitaba (2651m)
- Day11: Nyabitaba (2651m) - Nyakalengija (1615m) and back to Kampala
Detailed 11 Days Gorilla Trekking & Rwenzori Hike
Day 1: Kampala/Entebbe to Bwindi National park.
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by our guide or else he will pick you from your hotel in Entebbe and then transfer to Mgahinga NP. You will have a stopover at the equator for breakfast (and also take photos) and a lunch stopover in Mbarara town. As you drive, you will be able to see Uganda’s country side and the beautiful views of the Kigezi highlands. Dinner and overnight at Rushaga Gorilla camp.
Day 2: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi
After breakfast at the camp, the guide will drive you to the gorilla trekking headquarters where your permits will be verified. You will be briefed by the park guide about the activity and then drive to the starting point of the gorilla group you will be trekking and start the trek.
As you trek the gorillas you will expect to spot some of the other primates that live in the forest and also various bird species. The activity will take between 4-6 hours depending on where the gorilla group you are trekking will be that day. When you find them, you will be given an hour to see the gorillas as they go about their daily life, and also take photos. You will then return to the camp, refresh and have lunch. Dinner and overnight at Rushaga Gorilla Camp.
Day 3: Transfer to Rwenzori with game drive in Ishasha
After breakfast at the camp, you will check out and transfer to Rwenzori through the Ishasha sector (the southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park). Ishasha sector is a home to the famous tree climbing lions. You will do a game drive in Ishasha where you will expect to see animals like lions, buffalos, warthogs, elephants, and different antelopes like waterbucks, kobs, topi among others. You will then proceed to Nyakalengija. Check in at Mihunga lodge where you will Have diner and spend the night.
Day 4: Nyakalengija (1615m) – Nyabitaba Hut (2651m)
The Central Circuit starts at the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services offices at Nyakalengija. You should arrive in the morning to allow ample time to rent equipment and meet your guides and porters. The trail begins by passing through farmland to the park boundary beyond which it follows the Mubuku River, crossing its Mahoma tributary before starting a long, steep climb up onto a massive ridge to reach Nyabitaba hut. The hike takes around 5 -6 hours. During this part of the trip you may hear chimpanzee and see black and white colobus, blue monkey and the brilliantly coloured Rwenzori turaco.
Day 5: Nyabitaba (2651m) – Mubuku River (2600m) John Matte Hut (3380m)
From Nyabitaba follow the trail that drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge , just below the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Passing through the bamboo forest, traverse through a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From the Nyamileju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. Finally reach John Matte Hut after passing through the tiring bog, for Dinner and Overnight at the Hut. The hike takes around 6 -7 hours.
Day 6: John Matte (3380m) to Bujuku (3962m)
From John Matte Hut the trail drops down to cross the Bujuku River and enters Lower Bigo Bog, the home of giant lobelias. Jumping from tussock to tussock, the bog is finally crossed but rarely without the feet sampling some of the freezing ooze below. The Upper Bigo bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with views of Mt Baker to the South and Mt Stanley to the West. Bujuku Hut, well located in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is set in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass. Dinner and overnight at Bujukuhut.The hike takes around 5 -6 hours.
Day 7: Bujuku (3977m) to Elena Hut (4541m).
Leaving Bujuku, the trail takes you through more bog, while climbing the steep slopes west of the lake and through the magical Groundsel Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372m. At the head of the gully a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail is divided into two. The trail on your right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders, while the trail on your left leads to Scott- Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes the trail on he left leads those who are not climbing Margherita Peak to Kitandara Hut. Those climbing the peak will have their Dinner and Overnight at the coolly and Icy Elena Hut. The hike takes around 4 -5 hours.
Day8: Elena Hut (4541m) to Margherita peak– Kitandara hut (4027m)
For those aiming at reaching Margherita peak (5109m), continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. To reach the summit of Margherita, the climb takes about 5-7 hours depending on the weather conditions and the pace of climbing this mountain. This tough walk takes you over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice and very exposed areas which are open on many sides. Note that this climb is for only physically fit and technical climbers. Climbing on to the glaciers, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Acclimatized to fog, altitude sickness and coolly weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita the highest peak of the Rwenzoris. Given the high altitude and the tough conditions even if you do not reach the peak, don’t get disappointed. Prepare for you return through the Scott-Elliot pass, where there are spectacular views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke, up to Mount Stanley and down to the Kitandara Lakes. After the trail that passes you through an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders, descend past the Kitandara Lakes for dinner and overnight at the Kitandara
Day 9: Kitandara (4027m) – Fresh field Pass (4282m) – Guy Yeoman (3450m)
From Kitandara, take on the trail that ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the mountain to Fresh field Pass. At this point you can view into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, take on the long trail passing the rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. Overnight at Guy yeoman. The hike takes around 5 -6 hours.
Day10: Guy Yeoman (3450m) – Nyabitaba (2651m)
The descent to Nyabitaba takes around 6 -7 hours but with an early start it is possible to make it all the way down to Nyakalengija. Below Guy Yeoman, the route descends the cliffs of Kichuchu. Beyond Kichuchu the muddy path crosses the Mubuku River twice before climbing upwards to Nyabitaba to complete the circuit.
Day 11: Nyabitaba (2651m) - Nyakalengija (1615m) and back to Kampala
The descent from Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija takes 3 – 4 hours You will pass through the tropical forests where you will expect to Spot the three horned chameleon, black and white colobus monkeys, as Well as bird species The driver will be at the base waiting for you and transfer Back to Kampala a journey that takes between 7-8 hours with a stopover along the way for lunch. The driver will drop you at your hotel in Kampala/Entebbe or at Entebbe international airport.